How do you make your camera more discreet?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by zensu, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    "quite often" -- I doubt it. But regardless, nothing prevents 100% except staying home. I am not going to worry about it.
     
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  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    I guess the word "often" is relative, so I won't argue...but it happens with alarming regularity all over the world...I've met a few people who have been injured by such theft. And yes, only staying home prevents these things, but that's not the point...the point is trying to help other people stay safe. I was merely trying to be helpful...I would never, ever put metal lines in the strap of my bag because of the reasons I've outlined. Drive-by thefts are increasing through much of Europe and Asia, and the best measures (in my humble opinion) are to:

    1: Not look like you have anything valuable
    2: Have bags/cameras snug to your body, so they will have a tougher time grabbing a strap
    3: Be situationally aware. I know this sounds silly, but when I'm travelling with others, they're constantly remarking on me catching things that they were unaware of...you have no idea how many times I've told a companion to pocket their camera or grab their purse and hold it close because of someone suspicious, only to have that person immediately move on to an easier target...
    4: Do your research on the type of tricks that thieves are using, and do your best to minimize risk: ie: You're far, far, far more likely to avoid having your camera snatched and/or being injured in the process by simply moving your camera to the building/non-street side of your body, than reinforcing the strap.

    Reinforcing a strap with a metal line is not something I would recommend. (Of course, you're free to recommend what you consider good advice).

    I realize that the Daily Mail isn't the most respected publication out there, but I did fact-check some of the claims made in this article (which, admittedly, is quite sensationalized), and the numbers appear to be accurate. Considering just the city of London is experiencing over 10 drive-by snatchings per day and other places in the world are far worse (many places in Southeast Asia are especially notorious for such theft), I'd say it's worth keeping in mind.

    Moped muggers are carrying out soaring numbers of 'snatch-and-grab' thefts | Daily Mail Online
     
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  3. Michael Sans

    Michael Sans Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Oct 6, 2016
    Michael John Sansom
    _DSC8799-Edit. Most people think my silver em5 mark2 is film camera I sometimes get asked what film I'm using.
    The action which draws attention to you is putting it up to your eye especially if your using a long lens ( which you are not). one way round this angle the LCD so you can see the subjects who will think your reviewing shots you have taken so wont be aware you are shooting them. Another way with the 5 mar2 is angle the LCD 45 degrees from camera looking down on LCD and shoot.
    I agree about feeling vulnerable when you and old fart like me, people tend to ignore you unless they think you've taken shot of children then be very very careful because being old grey beard stereo type then prejudiced kinks in and out goes good judgement. It is best to go with a friend best preferably with a woman friend/Wife but if there are two of three of you your feel and will be be much safer more witnesses on your side if any if the going gets gets rough. I was one takeing a landscape with a tripod and woman tapped me on the shoulder and said you cant pictures like that there are children in the distance I invited her to look into my view find and asked can you see them where are they she said I can't see them ( they where about 1/2 mile away ). told her they wont show up as recognisable in a print, her husband came up and after discussion agreed with me. I will dig out the image and post it.
     
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  4. NikonD300

    NikonD300 Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Nov 24, 2011
    I tend to dress down. Ragged jeans and a frayed t-shirt, when I'm out taking street photos. People avoid me and don't make eye contact. Be confident when your raise the camera to take a shot. I've never had anyone confront me.
     
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  5. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    If they have a dog make a big deal about it and take a picture of it. It is surprising but more than half of people will thank you. Of course they are in the picture also.
     
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  6. anthonyrc

    anthonyrc Mu-43 Regular

    87
    Feb 5, 2013
    Anyone taken the opposite tack? Fit your camera inside a big wooden box with a bellows and mount on a heavy and unwieldy surveyor's tripod. Perhaps the odd flash of magnesium powder? (Top hat optional).
     
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  7. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Did you ever get it back?
     
  8. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    When I lived in Korea there was a guy who did travel photography with an 8x10 large format camera!! Meanwhile I decided that my 5D Mark II was entirely too unwieldy and needed to go mirrorless ASAP! ;)
     
  9. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Probably the better way to handle it. But you could of also pointed out that if people don't want their children photographed while out in public, they better put tents over them or keep them home. ;)
     
  10. Cederic

    Cederic Mu-43 Veteran

    309
    Nov 14, 2012
    Nottingham
    I shoot street with attitude. I'm here, I have a camera and yes, I did just photograph you. That's why I'm smiling briefly at you then moving on, because you're not important and I have more photographs to take.

    Only ever had one person have an issue with me, and I'm fairly sure he was engaged in illegal activity. Even he was just highly anxious and politely asking me if I could delete my photo rather than being aggressive or obnoxious about it.

    Works on the police too, and I seem to have the knack of getting away with ignoring their instructions while taking a photograph. I've wandered into a blocked off street, heard the police behind me gear up for a serious confrontation then just bend down, take a photograph, stand back up and wander on, with them looking at each other, shrugging and going back to defending their little checkpoint.

    It's all attitude, confidence and a hint of humour that maybe I shouldn't but I did anyway.

    Sorry, forgot to mention: I tend to shoot street from waist level. I like the aesthetic, and as someone else pointed out, it means I can see what's happening. Hell, how else will I spot the photos. I also shoot fast; point, shutter, move on. But that's partly because I don't do posed photographs, I don't even like people looking at me on my photographs, let alone the camera. Get in, get the photo, get out; 2/3 my subjects don't even realise I took a picture.
     
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  11. Michael Sans

    Michael Sans Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Oct 6, 2016
    Michael John Sansom
    I think you have to watch out how far you dress down, as our finest in blue may think your dealing using the camera as a cover!
     
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  12. Michael Sans

    Michael Sans Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Oct 6, 2016
    Michael John Sansom
    We are lucky in the UK as our police tend not to shoot and ask questions after ( well mostly ) whereas a photographer, in some situations, shoots and has to answer questions by a policeman/security guard who has not read his standing orders on photography, or are just plain ignorant. therefore its a good idea to have a copy of Photography advice - Metropolitan Police Service
    Photography advice
    We encourage officers and the public to be vigilant against terrorism but recognise the importance not only of protecting the public from terrorism but also promoting the freedom of the public and the media to take and publish photographs.

    Guidance around the issue has been made clear to officers and PCSOs through briefings and internal communications. The following advice is available to all officers and provides a summary of the Metropolitan Police Service’s guidance around photography in public places.

    Freedom to photograph and film
    Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel.

    Terrorism Act 2000
    Photography and Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000
    The power to stop and search someone under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 no longer exists.

    Police officers continue to have the power to stop and search anyone who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act.

    Photography and Section 43 of the Terrorism Act 2000
    Officers have the power to stop and search a person who they reasonably suspect to be a terrorist. The purpose of the stop and search is to discover whether that person has in their possession anything which may constitute evidence that they are a terrorist.

    Officers have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones or cameras carried by a person searched under S43 of the Terrorism Act 2000 to discover whether the images constitute evidence that the person is involved in terrorism. Officers also have the power to seize and retain any article found during the search which the officer reasonably suspects may constitute evidence that the person is a terrorist. This includes any mobile telephone or camera containing such evidence.

    Officers do not have the power to delete digital images or destroy film at any point during a search. Deletion or destruction may only take place following seizure if there is a lawful power (such as a court order) that permits such deletion or destruction.

    Section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000
    Section 58A of the Terrorism Act 2000 covers the offence of eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of the armed forces, intelligence services or police where the information is, by its very nature, designed to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

    Any officer making an arrest for an offence under Section 58A must be able to demonstrate a reasonable suspicion that the information was, by its very nature, designed to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism

    It would ordinarily be unlawful to use section 58A to arrest people photographing police officers in the course of normal policing activities, including protests because there would not normally be grounds for suspecting that the photographs were being taken to provide assistance to a terrorist. An arrest would only be lawful if an arresting officer had a reasonable suspicion that the photographs were being taken in order to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism.

    There is nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable so long as this is being done for a lawful purpose and is not being done in a way that prevents, dissuades or inhibits the individual from doing something which is not unlawful.

    Guidelines for MPS staff on dealing with media reporters, press photographers and television crews
    There is nothing preventing officers asking questions of an individual who appears to be taking photographs of someone who is or has been a member of Her Majesty’s Forces (HMF), Intelligence Services or a constable so long as this is being done for a lawful purpose and is not being done in a way that prevents, dissuades or inhibits the individual from doing something which is not unlawful.

    Contact with photographers, reporters and television crews is a regular occurrence for many officers and staff. The media influences our reputation so it's crucial to maintain good working relations with its members, even in difficult circumstances.

    Following these guidelines means both media and police can fulfill their duties without hindering each other.

    Creating vantage points
    When areas are cordoned off following an incident, creating a vantage point, if possible, where members of the media at the scene can see police activity, can help them do their job without interfering with a police operation. However, media may still report from areas accessible to the general public.

    Identifying the media
    Genuine members of the media carry identification, for instance the UK Press Card, which they will present on request.

    The press and the public
    If someone distressed or bereaved asks the police to stop the media recording them, the request can be passed on to the media, but not enforced.

    Access to incident scenes
    The Senior Investigating Officer is in charge of granting members of the media access to incident scenes. In the early stages of investigation, evidence gathering and forensic retrieval take priority over media access, but, where appropriate, access should be allowed as soon as is practicable.

    Film Unit
    The aim of the Metropolitan Police Service Film Unit is to be a central point of contact, to co-ordinate, facilitate and bring consistency to those people filming in London with MPS support.

    We work together with Film London and stakeholders of the Film London Partnership to make London accessible, whilst minimising inconvenience to Londoners and increasing the economic benefits of filming.
     
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  13. That's only because the cops in the UK have been disarmed... :shakehead:
     
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  14. Michael Sans

    Michael Sans Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Oct 6, 2016
    Michael John Sansom
    Gooday NoSeconds, Its obvious you dont live in the UK, Mate and perhaps internation news is not one of your priorities especially the little old country see, :-The total number of citizens killed by law enforcement officers in the year 2014, was 14; that is 78 times fewer people than the US. From 2010 through 2014, there were four fatal police shootings in England, which has a population of about 52 million.but they dont tell you the US of A have a population 380 million so perhaps on proportional terms the UK is worse but what we dont know is how many in the US are registered as killings by police whereas each police shooting in the UK is put under the microscope.
     
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  15. Ashenwelt

    Ashenwelt Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Apr 13, 2016
    San Diego, CA, USA!
    Robert
    So my recommendations come from past experience and the fact I am not as young as I used to be. Take or throw any as while I habe 46 states under my belt, i have only gone to two other countries. However I have dealt with mugging issues.

    1. Do not wear white shoes. For some reason, white shoes are still linked to tourists and vacations.

    2. No bags. If a lens doesnt fit in your pocket its too big or you need a bigger pocket.

    3. Carry with a hand strap or a strap across your shoulder: not your neck. Three major reasons. First, it makes you look like you are their to be a photographer and that messes with street photography. Two it assigns more value to the camera because its less haphazard. Three is simple, someone grabs the strap and the control YOU.

    4. Craft the image in your head, then move the camera to grab the perspective and snap. Either one of a series. Dont chimp. Put the camera back down. The moment is over and you aren't the irritating photographer.

    5. Don't act like a tourist. Take things in stride. Makes you less of a target.

    Hope this helps someone. Its my philosophy.
     
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  16. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    I wouldn't say don't have a bag. A bag is a great way to have your camera 100% out of sight. Have a bag, just make sure it's not a flashy new camera bag.
     
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  17. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    949
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    Years ago, film era, when I did a walk about with a couple of street shooters in Chicago, one of the guys wore an old coat and had cut the pockets out. He wore the camera inside the coat and just had the lens protruding a bit. Walking around it looked like he had his hands in his pockets and being somewhat cold, nobody seemed suspicious. While he was shooting a bit blind and I never saw any of his images, to this day that was the most hidden I had seen any gear.
     
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  18. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I just follow around the Leica shooter with a Fogg or Ona Berlin II in cognac bag so I look like a less desirable target. ;)

    I, also, have had people assume that my silver E-M5 II is a film camera.
     
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  19. Ashenwelt

    Ashenwelt Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Apr 13, 2016
    San Diego, CA, USA!
    Robert
    I have always looked at bags as a target. When I am done for the day, slip the jacket off, slide the camera strap over the shoulder, and put the jacket back on.

    I had a cousin make a customized CAST for a "broken" arm. Integrated his camera. Granted, maybe 20 or 30 years ago.
     
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  20. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Your cousin is Maxwell Smart? ;)
     
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